Turkey´s Relations With Central Asian Republics

Central Asia is a strategically important for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic region. Its energy resources are vital for global energy security and it is a major hub for gas and oil pipelines as well as trade corridors.

Throughout their 29 years of independence, the Central Asian Republics have achieved substantial progress in many areas, particularly in solidifying their sovereignty, institutionalizing their state structures and improving their level of integration with the world.

Turkey is the first country which recognized Central Asian countries. Since 1991, our desire for a stable, independent and prosperous Central Asia has guided our policies towards the region towards building free market economies and functioning democracies. Given our common historical, linguistic and cultural ties, we have sought to increase engagement with this region on a broad range of issues. The High Level Strategic Cooperation Councils with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and recently with Uzbekistan provide a useful platform to deepen our relations. We have also a similar mechanism with Tajikistan.

Turkey’s economic relations with the Central Asian Republics have developed rapidly, and significant progress has been achieved in the fields of trade, transportation and communications. The Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) was established in order to provide development assistance to these countries and has been operating successfully in close cooperation with the local authorities.

Turkey’s trade volume with the countries of the region was about 8,5 billion USD in 2019 and almost 4 thousand Turkish companies have been operating there.

Relations have also developed in the areas of culture and education. The International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY) was established in 1993 to promote the Turkic culture, art, language and historical heritage; introducing these values to the world and transferring them to the younger generations.

Turkey has been carrying out a broad scholarship program “Turkey Scholarships” for students in Central Asia as well as other regions. Our Ministry of National Education runs many schoolst in the Central Asian Republics. There are two joint universities (Turkish-Kazakh International Hoca Ahmet Yesevi University) in Turkestan, (Kazakhstan) and (Turkish-Kyrgyz Manas University) in Bishkek.

Turkey has led “The Summits of Turkic Speaking Countries' Heads of States”, since 1992 in order to increase solidarity between the Turkic Speaking Countries and to create new cooperation opportunities among them. This practice has acquired an institutional structure thanks to the Nakhichevan Treaty regarding the Establishment of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) signed on 3 October 2009. The Secretariat of the Council is in Istanbul. Turkic Council continues its activities in every field and every level with close cooperation of member countries. The 7th Summit of the Council was held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on October 15, 2019.

The Extraordinary Summit of the Turkic Council was held through VTC on 10 April 2020.